closet organized after learning how to organize when you don't know where to start

How to Organize When You Don’t Know Where to Start

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Is your home overrun with clutter and messes?  Do you wish you could get organized but not sure where to start?  Well, I have been in your shoes before, and I am here to show you how to organize when you don’t know where to start.

When was the last time you tried to clean up your home but then turned around to find the mess not getting any smaller? 



Last week?

Before I created an organizing system for myself, my house was the same.  

The kids were constantly pulling out toys and throwing their clothes on the ground.  I was trying to work from home.  We were running to extracurricular activities practically every night, and my husband worked all day at the office.  

It was nearly impossible to keep the house together.

And becoming more organized is what helped me FINALLY get it together.

But in the beginning, I had no idea where to start.  I was staring into an endless mess that felt completely overwhelming.

But I did it, and I learned a lot through the process.  And now I want to help you start getting organized. So I am going to walk you through how to organize when you don’t know where to start.


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This post contains affiliate links, please read our disclosure for more information. 


How Can I Be Neat and Organized?

When you aren’t usually an organized person, making that shift can be difficult. Before you start looking towards cleaning and organizing your house, you need tools to help you get started and make your transition to an organized life a little easier. Have you ever heard of a home management binder?

Think about it as your personal assistant. It will help you get you and your family organized in no time. No more wondering who has practice when or what’s left to eat in the pantry. Your personal assistant will keep you in the know. Make sure you click below and get your home management binder today! It’s definitely a major part of the equation on how to organize when you don’t know where to start. You can thank me later! 

home management binder to help you get organized when you don't know where to start


How To Organize When You Don’t Know Where To Start


1.  Figure Out The Purpose Of The Space

Let me ask you this, do you have an area on your home that just doesn’t work for you?  Like are you storing all of your spices in the dining room or all of your makeup in the bathroom down the hall? 

I had a lot of areas in my home that were like that.  I was not storing the right items in the most convenient places.  That is why figuring out the purpose of the space is so important before you start to organize it.

Ask yourself… Where is this space located?  How can it function to the best of its potential?  What will fit into the space? How can this space function for my family?  These are all good questions to ask when trying to figure out the purpose of a space.

For instance, if you are organizing a closet in the bedroom, you may already know you are going to store clothing and shoes in it.  

You would not however want to store your saucepans in there because that would not be convenient to run into the bedroom to grab a pan every time you want to cook something.


2. Have A Vision

Create a vision for the space.  Look at pictures online or in magazines to get inspiration for your own space.  Looking at pictures and having a vision will help you know what sort of organizational products you may need in the space and also what you like.

I am not a creative person.  I need to look at other ideas in order to get ideas of my own, so that is how I do it.  

For example, do you like pictures with open shelving or closed cabinets?  Do you like clear bins or opaque bins?  Do you like clothing to be hung up, stacked on a shelf, or folded accordian style in a drawer?

Do you need to be able to get to things quickly as you are running out the door?  Then you may want to use something clear in the space so you don’t have to rummage through items when you are in a hurry.

Knowing the function and purpose of the space (from step #2) will also help you with your vision.  


3. Purge

To become more organized, one of the first things you must do is understand your home’s limits.  You have to understand that your home can hold only so many things before those things begin to come out of their designated areas and lay around on countertops, floors, and furniture instead of where they belong.

This was a hard pill for me to swallow because I love shopping.  Period.  I just love buying new things.  Problem was, I never wanted to throw anything out when I was done with it.  But that is part of the reason I always start with purging when I want to start organizing a space.  

You can only store so much in your home, so figure out what you want to keep and get rid of the rest. 

Make sure to grab some of these to make purging easier. This way you’ll know what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of.  This will help too!


4. Small Spaces Are Your Friend

Have you tried to conquer a huge space like the entire kitchen at once before and failed?  I have tried and failed many, many times.  What I found out is that I don’t have the TIME or ENERGY to do one huge space, even if I would love to have the entire space done in one day.

Instead of choosing to organize your entire house or even an entire room in one day, choose to start with one small area.  You can choose a bathroom drawer because it is little or you can choose a small space that has been bothering you for a long time.  Like a cluttered area of the kitchen countertop. 

Either way, choosing to organize a small space will help give you that little nudge you need to get started.  And as you become more confident with what you like and how to be more organized, you can get started on other areas of your home.  Eventually, you will make it through the entire room, and then the entire house.


5. Do not spend much time

Spend only around 20-30 minutes per day on an organization project.  

This will work great if you do like I said in step #2…pick a small space.  Then you will not get overwhelmed on how to organize when you don’t know where to start.

So, set a timer (this one is my favorite because it also makes a statement in the house!) and just do one step of the process if that is all you can fit into that time-frame.  Then come back the next day and finish.  

Remember that when organizing your home the process is easier when broken up into smaller projects instead of trying to tackle the whole house at once.


6.  Prime Real Estate

Before I became organized, I was continuously digging in drawers, cabinets, closets, for the things I needed.  And many times they were things I needed on a daily basis.  It was taking me extra time just to find things I needed to use every day.  So I came up with the concept of Prime Real Estate.

I know what you’re thinking, “What is that?”

Well, in any space that you decide to organize, you will have a section within that space that is what I call ‘Prime Real Estate’.  That it is the section of a space that is the easiest and quickest to get to.  

The only things you should put in that ‘Prime Real Estate’ are items that you use most frequently.  

Some examples are …

…in your top bathroom drawer, closest to the sink…you would only store the makeup and hair items you use daily.  

…in the front portion of your master closet…the items you wear most often.

…at eye level in your pantry…your most used food items or kitchen items.

… right next to your range or oven in the kitchen…your oven mitts, utensils, and sheet pans.


The point is, only store your most frequently used items that you need every day or more than once a day, in the space that is highly convenient.


7. Measure

Take measurements of the space and carry them in your purse in case you come across something that you think may work for your organizational needs.  

You may find some clear bins at the dollar store that you can use to corral some smaller items in your drawers.

You also may find something you can use around your home.  An old CD rack works really well to hold mail by the door.  And I love this kind of storage for under the bed.

Don’t buy big fancy organizational products until you know exactly how the space is working for you and you are definitely not going to change things up again.


8. Choose Products

You visualized what you wanted your space to look like, but now you need to get some organizational items that can work in the space.

This is the fun part because once you have your products, you can see the space start to come together.

Keep in mind, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars putting in a new closet system to get a closet that is organized and easy to use.  And the same goes for other areas of your house.

As a matter of fact, I most definitely recommend going with more temporary organizational solutions until you figure out how the space is functioning for you.  I love this storage option for tupperware lids.

That way if you decide the organization method you chose is not really working for you, you are not dealing with organizational solutions that are permanent or cost you a lot of money and you can easily change to something you like better.  

How do I start getting organized?

I know getting organized can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. But now you don’t have any excuses because you know exactly what to do to get organized and stay that way. Be sure to grab our home management binder to help stay on track with organizing all areas of your life and getting your family on board too. It’s a game changer for sure, especially for busy working moms like you!


About the Guest Blogger:

Julie Hazard of the MomSurvivalGuide, is a current stay at home mom of 13 years who loves Friends re-runs, Harry Potter, and having a glass of wine when she is not managing her home and kids. She’s known for creating systems and routines for moms who need help organizing and managing home life with kids.




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